UFL President Russ Brandon talks XFL-USFL merger, scheduling, and more on St. Louis ESPN radio affiliate

Russ Brandon, XFL President, League and Football Operations. (Credit: XFL)
Russ Brandon, UFL President, and CEO. (Credit: XFL)

UFL President and CEO Russ Brandon joined Randy & Brooke on St. Louis radio’s 101 ESPN this morning to talk about the merger of the USFL and XFL, as well as the impact on the St. Louis Battlehawks.

Among the highlights:

*Brandon talked about St. Louis being the “high-water mark” of the XFL last season in terms of what the league was trying to accomplish.

*He mentioned teams would be playing all their games in home cities, while having centralized operations in Arlington. Brandon said they’d be “very active” in team markets regarding community outreach.

*When asked about the benefits of the merger, Brandon noted that it was difficult having two competing spring leagues. “It’s about development” of the players, coaches and support staffs.

*Brandon hinted that they are “anticipating some alterations” when it comes to the on-field product. He said that Dean Blandino and Mike Peirera would both be retained by the UFL. In a continuation from their relationship with the XFL, the league will also carry on its work with Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, when it comes to the league’s rules development.

*A full season schedule release is anticipated by the middle of this month. “We’re working diligently on that,” said Brandon.

*The hosts asked Brandon about the status of QB A.J. McCarron should he decide to return next year: Will the Battlehawks continue to hold his rights, even in the merged league? Brandon indicated that would indeed be the case.

*Regarding Battlehawks head coach Anthony Becht, Brandon referred to him as “one of the best young coaches in our sport.”

*”I truly believe this is a very, very long-term play,” said Brandon in regards to the merger of the XFL and USFL. “We’re doing this for the right reasons, for the football ecosystem, and for the fan bases.”

*The lack of teams in the western part of the United States was a topic that was brought up, and whether or not that was a concern. Brandon said “all the decisions were difficult from that standpoint,” and he indicated future expansion as a possibility for those markets. “We’re here for the very, very long haul,” said Brandon.

You can listen to the nine-minute conversation at the link below:

UFL CEO Russ Brandon

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